Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Lifesaving Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Lifesaving Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Lifesaving merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Before doing requirements 2 through 17:
Requirement 1a: Complete Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d and First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b and 6e.

Second Class rank requirements 5a through 5d:

Requirement 1a5a: Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe swim.
Requirement 1a5b: Demonstrate your ability to pass the BSA beginner test: Jump feet first into water over your head in depth, level off and swim 25 feet on the surface, stop, turn sharply, resume swimming, then return to your starting place
Requirement 1a5c: Demonstrate water rescue methods by reaching with your arm or leg, by reaching with a suitable object, and by throwing lines and objects.
Requirement 1a5d: Explain why swimming rescues should not be attempted when a reaching or throwing rescue is possible. Explain why and how a rescue swimmer should avoid contact with the victim.

First Class rank requirements 6a, 6b, and 6e:

Requirement 1a6a: Successfully complete the BSA swimmer test.

For more information about the BSA swimmer test, see the Swimming merit badge.

Requirement 1a6b: Tell what precautions must be taken for a safe trip afloat.
Requirement 1a6e: With a helper and a practice victim, show a line rescue both as tender and as rescuer. (The practice victim should be approximately 30 feet from shore in deep water.)
Requirement 1b: Swim continuously for 400 yards using each of the following strokes in a strong manner, in good form with rhythmic breathing, for at least 50 continuous yards: front crawl, sidestroke, breaststroke, and elementary backstroke.
Requirement 2: Discuss and review with your counselor the principles of BSA Safe Swim Defense.
Requirement 3: Explain the following:
Requirement 3a: Common drowning situations and how to prevent them.
Requirement 3b: How to identify persons in the water who need assistance.
Requirement 3c: The order of methods in water rescue.
Requirement 3d: How rescue techniques vary depending on the setting and the condition of the person needing assistance.
Requirement 3e: Situations for which in-water rescues should not be undertaken.
Requirement 4: Demonstrate "reaching" rescues using various items such as arms, legs, towels, shirts, paddles, and poles.
Requirement 5: Demonstrate "throwing" rescues using various items such as lines, ring buoys, rescue bags, and free-floating supports. Successfully place at least one such aid within reach of a practice victim 25 feet from shore.
Requirement 6: With your counselor's approval, view in-person or on video a rowing rescue performed using a rowboat, canoe, kayak, or stand up paddleboard. Discuss with your counselor how effectively and efficiently the rescue was performed.
Requirement 7: List various items that can be used as aids in a "go" rescue. Explain why buoyant aids are preferred.
Requirement 8: Correctly demonstrate rescues of a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore in deep water using two types of buoyant aids provided by your counselor. Use a proper entry and a strong approach stroke. Speak to the subject to determine his or her condition and to provide instructions and encouragement.
Requirement 8a: Present one aid to a subject, release it, and swim at a safe distance as the subject moves to safety.
Requirement 8b: In a separate rescue, present the other aid to a subject and use it to tow the subject to safety.
Requirement 9: Discuss with your counselor when it is appropriate to remove heavy clothing before attempting a swimming rescue. Remove street clothes in 20 seconds or less, enter the water, and approach a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore in deep water. Speak to the subject and use a nonbuoyant aid, such as a shirt or towel, to tow the subject to safety.
Requirement 10: Discuss with your counselor the importance of avoiding contact with an active subject and demonstrate lead-and-wait techniques.
Requirement 11: Perform the following nonequipment rescues for a conscious practice subject 30 feet from shore. Begin in the water from a position near the subject. Speak to the subject to determine his or her condition and to provide instructions and encouragement..
Requirement 11a: Perform an armpit tow for a calm, responsive, tired swimmer resting with a back float.
Requirement 11b: Perform a cross-chest carry for an exhausted, responsive subject treading water.
Requirement 12: In deep water, show how to escape from a victim's grasp on your wrist. Repeat for front and rear holds about the head and shoulders.
Requirement 13: Perform the following rescues for an unconscious practice subject at or near the surface 30 feet from shore. Use a proper entry and strong approach stroke. Speak to the subject and splash water on the subject to determine his or her condition before making contact. Quickly remove the victim from the water, with assistance if needed, and position for CPR.
Requirement 13a: Perform an equipment assist using a buoyant aid.
Requirement 13b: Perform a front approach and wrist tow.
Requirement 13c: Perform a rear approach and armpit tow.
Requirement 14: Discuss with your counselor how to respond if a victim submerges before being reached by a rescuer, and do the following:
Requirement 14a: Recover a 10-pound weight in 8 to 10 feet of water using a feetfirst surface dive.
Requirement 14b: Repeat using a headfirst surface dive.
Requirement 15: Demonstrate knowledge of resuscitation procedures:
Requirement 15a: Describe how to recognize the need for rescue breathing and CPR.
Requirement 15b: Demonstrate CPR knowledge and skills, including rescue breathing, consistent with current guidelines.

Your counselor may accept recent training in CPR by a recognized agency as completion of this requirement only if he or she feels your skills are satisfactory and need no additional reinforcement.

Requirement 16: Demonstrate management of a spinal injury to your counselor:
Requirement 16a: Discuss the causes, signs, and symptoms of a spinal injury.
Requirement 16b: Support a faceup subject in calm water of standing depth.
Requirement 16c: Turn a subject from a facedown to a faceup position in water of standing depth while maintaining support
Requirement 17: With your counselor, discuss causes, prevention, and treatment of other injuries or illnesses that could occur while swimming or boating, including hypothermia, dehydration, heat-related illnesses, muscle cramps, sunburn, stings, and hyperventilation.